March 8, 2023

Study: Could 10-year screening colonoscopy intervals be extended?

Editor's Note

This German study finds that extension of the currently recommended 10-year screening colonoscopy intervals may be warranted, especially for female and younger participants without gastrointestinal symptoms.

Data on 1.25 million individuals in the German screening colonoscopy registry, the world’s largest registry of its kind, were analyzed.

A total of 120,298 repeat screening colonoscopy participants 65 years or older who had a previous negative screening colonoscopy at least 10 years before were identified and compared with all screening colonoscopies conducted in those  65 years or older.

Among the findings:

  • Prevalence of advanced colorectal neoplasms (ADNs) was 3.6% in women and 5.2% in men 10 years after a negative screening colonoscopy.
  • Prevalence of ADNs gradually increased to 4.9% in women and 6.6% in men 14 years or longer after a negative colonoscopy, compared with 7.1% and 11.6%, respectively, among all screening colonoscopies.
  • Sex-specific and age-specific prevalence of ADNs found at colonoscopies conducted 10 or more years after a negative colonoscopy were consistently 40% lower in women than men, lower at younger vs older ages, and much lower than among all screening colonoscopies.

The results suggest that sex and age could guide potential risk-adapted extension of screening colonoscopy intervals beyond 10 years, the researchers say.


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